The policy statements described below are provided to assist you in better understanding ASU, especially the rules and regulations governing the University. Keep in mind, however, that the University acknowledges and complies with local, state, and federal policies as they are approved, and new institutional policy may be introduced while this handbook is in circulation.
UNIVERSITY POLICY ON NONDISCRIMINATION
Alabama State University is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, physical disability, national origin, sex, marital status, political affiliation or age in any of its programs, including admission of students or employment. To file a complaint or for additional information, contact the vice president for Student Affairs, in 108 McGehee Hall, (334) 229-4241. In matters regarding sex discrimination, the University does comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1982. Information regarding the application of Title IX may be obtained from the director of Personnel and Human Relations (who is the University EEO officer) at
(334) 229-4267 and the vice president for Student Affairs.
Regarding students with physical disabilities, ASU will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals qualifying under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other state and federal laws and regulations. The service is dependent upon verifiable student needs. Students with “documented” special needs who intend to enroll in ASU should contact the University Counseling Center Office and the ADA Coordinator at (334) 229-4382.
POLICY ON GENDER EQUITY
Alabama State University takes seriously its commitment to gender equity in employment and education. While the University has in place procedures dealing with sex discrimination, informal mediation is available through the vice president for Student Affairs or the director of Personnel Services, depending on the circumstances of the incidents. In the event an individual is not satisfied with the mediation or elects not to pursue the informal process to remedy an alleged discriminatory practice, the student or employee may file a formal grievance.
The purpose of the grievance procedure is to facilitate resolution of a grievance in an orderly and consistent manner as established in the Title IX Grievance Manual of the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education and ASU. Information regarding the application of Title IX may be obtained from the director of Personnel Services at (334) 229-4267 and the vice
president for Student Affairs (334) 229-4241.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
As a first step in understanding Title IX grievance procedures for sex discrimination, the following definitions are offered:
- Grievance – A complaint alleging any action, policy, procedure or practice which would be prohibited by Title IX.
- Title IX – Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the 1980 implementing regulations and any memoranda, directives, guidelines or subsequent legislation that may be issued or enacted.
- Grievant – A student or employee of ASU who submits a grievance relevant to Title IX or an individual or group submitting a grievance on behalf of a student(s) or employee(s).
- (Name of Institution/Agency): Any reference to Alabama State University means any school, department, subunit or program operated by the University.
- Title IX Coordinator – The employee(s) designated to coordinate ASU’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX and the Title IX implementing regulation.
- Title IX Grievance Representative – Any person designated by ASU or by the Title IX coordinator as a person with whom Title IX grievances may be filed. The Title IX grievance representative may be delegated other tasks by the Title IX Coordinator.
- Respondent – A person alleged to be responsible, or who may be responsible, for the Title IX violation alleged in a grievance. The term may be used to designate persons with direct responsibility for a particular action or those persons with supervisory responsibility for procedures and policies in those areas covered in the grievance.
- Hearing Officer – The representative(s) of ASU, or its governing body, who is delegated authority for hearing/resolving a grievance at a specified level of grievance processing.
- Grievance Answer – The written statement of the respondent regarding the grievance allegations and possible corrective action.
- Grievance Decision – The written statement of a hearing officer on his or her findings regarding the validity of the grievance allegation and the corrective action to be taken, which become effective with the president’s concurrence.
- Day – A class day; the calculation of days in grievance processing shall exclude Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
- Corrective Action – The action which is taken by Alabama State University to eliminate or modify any policy, procedure or practice found to be in violation of Title IX and/or to provide redress to any grievant injured by the identified violation.
FILING A TITLE IX GRIEVANCE
Any student, employee or any individual or group acting on behalf of a student or employee shall file any grievance alleging sex discrimination in writing with the Title IX coordinator or other designated Title IX grievance representative.
A grievance may be filed by an individual student or an employee or a group that files a complaint on behalf of a student(s) with the Title IX coordinator at ASU as designated by the president of the University. A copy of the grievance shall be sent to the vice president for Student Affairs. All grievances shall be processed in accordance with the following procedure that follows:
- A grievance shall be filed in writing within five class days after the event giving rise to the grievance. The written grievance shall contain the action that is being grieved, the alleged violation of what rule, regulation, practice or procedure and the remedy being sought. The grievance shall first be filed with the Title IX coordinator with a copy to the vice president for Student Affairs. The grievant shall complete a form entitled, “Title IX Grievance Filing Form,” which can be obtained from the Office of Personnel Services.
- The Title IX coordinator shall respond to the grievant in writing within 10 class days of receiving the grievance.
- Within two class days of receipt of the complaint the Title IX coordinator shall notify the respondent(s) involved in writing that a complaint alleging violation of Title IX has been filed against him or her with a copy of the complaint with attachments. The respondent must send in writing a grievance answer within 10 class days back to the Title IX coordinator.
- If the Title IX coordinator fails to respond within the 10 class days or if the response is unfavorable, a grievance petition may be filed with the hearing officer within 10 class days of the date on which the Title IX coordinator(s)’ response was received or should have been received.
- The Title IX coordinator shall notify the hearing officer of the complaint and shall set up a hearing. The coordinator shall set the date, time and place of the hearing and notify the respondent of the hearing at least five class days before the hearing.
- Each party may be represented by professional legal counsel. However, if any party elects to be advised or represented by legal counsel, the hearing officer must be notified in writing no later than 48 hours before the hearing. In such a case, the University may exercise the option to present its case through use of legal counsel.
- At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall compile his or her findings regarding the validity of the grievance allegationand the recommended corrective action in a document called the “grievance decision” on the appropriate hearing form. The hearing officer shall transmit written copies of the “grievance decision” to the grievant, vice president for Student Affairs, and the Title IX coordinator. The Title IX coordinator shall send a copy to the president of the University. A verbatim record in the form of a tape recording shall be made of each hearing. All correspondence sent to the grievant must be by signature or certified mail.
- The hearing officer’s “grievance decision” shall contain a statement of the facts, finding of fact with respect to the matters at issue and recommended corrective actions.
- If notice of appeal of the hearing officer’s decision is received by the Title IX coordinator within five class days of receipt of the decision, another hearing shall be scheduled the grievant request an appeal with the University president. In the hearing, the burden of proof is on the grievant.
- The respondent shall have the right to testify in his or her own behalf, to present evidence and witnesses, to hear and question adverse witnesses, and to rebut administrative or hearing committee by his or her peers. The judgment of the hearing officer shall be based solely on the evidence presented in the hearing.
- The Title IX coordinator shall do a follow-up and monitor each case brought to a hearing on the designated form.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Title IX Grievance Procedures: An Introductory Manual, 1987.
UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ACCESS TO AND RELEASE OF STUDENT RECORDS
Alabama State University maintains, collects and compiles information on its students in order to enhance University operations. The University fully complies with the Buckley Amendment of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The Buckley Amendment requires that students be advised of their rights concerning their educational records. The law guarantees students three important rights: (1) the right to inspect their student records, (2) the right to challenge incorrect information in those records and (3) the right to keep their records private.
Each student may exercise his or her right to inspect and review any and all official records, files and data directly related to him or her by initiating a request in writing with the custodian of the records desired. For request to review or correct records, a student should report to the Office of Records and Registration, 27 Councill Hall, or call the office at (334) 229-4243 during regular business hours.
Students who are or who have been in attendance at the University may challenge in writing, by submitting their request to the University Registrar, the content of the records maintained. They must be provided an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any alleged inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate data contained in such records and to insert into such records a written explanation respecting the content thereof.
COMMITTEE ON PRIVACY OF STUDENT RECORDS
The Committee on the Privacy of Student Records shall review policies relating to records of students, monitor continuously the security of student record keeping, evaluate requests for research use of student record data and offer consultation on other issues that may occur.
UNIVERSITY POLICY ON SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
Recent reports on Alabama cases of sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, AIDS) reveal an alarming increase in infection rates despite educational programs aimed at combating these diseases. Reports show the HIV infection rate is highest among the 25-29 age group, indicating exposure is occurring during the teen years.
In an effort to educate, protect and meet the overall needs of its students, the Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the state and county health departments and community agencies, works to provide the following services to ASU students:
- Educational programs related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and AIDS, homosexuality, offensive inappropriate touching and sexual assault. Student organizations are encouraged to co- sponsor these programs in order to enhance student participation.
- Pamphlets, brochures and videos related to STDs, including AIDS.
- Personal protection, such as condom purchasing.
- Counseling and appropriate referrals for examinations and treatments.
UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS)
Alabama State University endorses the 1988 statement of the American College Health Association’s (ACHA) recommendation and guidelines for institutional policies for higher education on HIV infection and AIDS. Furthermore, the University recognizes and adheres to the confidentiality of information guidelines and standards as recommended and published by ACHA in “Recommended Standards and Practices for a College Health Program,” fourth edition. The University does not discriminate in its practices of admissions, class attendance, access to facilities and campus medical care for those persons with AIDS or HIV infection.
Support services are available to concerned individuals through the University Health Services Center, University Counseling Center and community referral agencies. Interested parties can pick up copies of the AIDS guidelines and other information from the director of the Student Health Services Center, Simpson Hall basement. A committee of faculty, staff, and students may be established at the University to organize and oversee an AIDS education program, and to provide a mechanism for making policy decisions as necessary.
UNIVERSITY POLICY REGARDING STUDENT PREGNANCY
For health and safety reasons, a student who is pregnant is encouraged to notify the director of University Health Services or her designee of her condition as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed and shall provide the director or her designee with the name and address of her prenatal health care provider. Confidential information provided to the director will be utilized only in emergency situations or situations of medical necessity.
Medical services in the University Health Services Center are not available during pregnancy. For that purpose, the student who is expecting is encouraged to consult with her prenatal provider concerning medications she may or may not be able to take, and for complications and illnesses during her pregnancy. If she desires referral information in managing the pregnancy, she should discuss this matter with the center director or her designee.
A student may be precluded from living in the residence hall during pregnancy (as with any condition) and for a period of time after delivery, when, in the judgment of the University health authority, living in the residence halls may compromise the health, safety or welfare of the mother, the unborn child or other residence hall students.
UNIVERSITY POLICY ON SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE
This policy applies to same sex and heterosexual sexual assault and rape. Sexual assault is defined as any unwanted touching of a sexual nature. This includes but is not limited to:
- Unwanted kissing, touching or fondling
- Penetration with a finger or a foreign object
- Rape (vaginal or anal intercourse, oral – genital contact)
These acts constitute sexual assault when they are attempted or committed through force, threat, or intimidation, when the perpetrator has been informed that his/her actions are unwanted: or by taking advantage of the victim’s incapacity or helplessness caused by alcohol or other drugs.
Rape is defined as “unlawful sexual intercourse by force or deception.” A person is responsible of rape in the first degree when one intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person without consent.
Alabama State University categorization of rape is as follows:
- Stranger Rape – The sexual assault of an individual by someone the victim does not know.
- Acquaintance Date Rape – the sexual assault of an individual by someone the victim knows, usually an acquaintance or a date. Date rape is the most common type of rape occurring on college or university campuses, but the least frequently reported.
- Group/Gang Rape – the sexual assault of an individual by multiple perpetrators. Many gang rapes on college campuses occur in residence halls, fraternity houses or at off-campus parties and in vehicles.
ALABAMA STATE CRIMINAL LAWS
Rape in the first degree:
A person commits the crime of rape in the first degree if:
He or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex by forcible compulsion; or
He or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated; or
He or she, being 16 years or older, engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old.
Rape in the first degree is a Class A felony.
Rape in the second degree:
A person commits the crime of rape in the second degree if: Being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex.
He or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective.
Rape in the second degree is a Class B felony.
Sodomy in the first degree:
A person commits the crime of sodomy in the first degree if: He engages in deviant sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion; or
He engages in deviant sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated; or
He, being 16 years old or older, engages in deviant sexual intercourse with a person who is less than 12 years old.
Sodomy in the first degree is a Class A felony.
Sodomy in the second degree:
A person commits the crime of sodomy in the second degree if:
He, being 16 years old or older, engages in deviant sexual intercourse with another person less than 16 and more than 12 years old.
He engages in deviant sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective.
Sodomy in the second degree is a Class B felony.
Anyone who is a victim of a sexual assault or rape should contact one of the following offices:
- University Police Department – 229-4400
- Montgomery Police Department – 241-2652
- Counseling Center – 229-4382
- Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – 229-5104
- Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs – 229-4241
UNIVERSITY POLICY ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Alabama State University is firmly committed to providing an environment that is free of discrimination. Sexual harassment is reviewed as a form of sex discrimination and as a most reprehensible offense, whether committed on or off campus. ASU will vigorously investigate and impose sanctions when investigation confirms that sexual harassment has occurred. The University is especially sensitive to this matter where students are involved and will not hesitate to impose the maximum disciplinary sanction where warranted. Deliberate false accusation of sexual harassment will not be condoned and will result in disciplinary action being taken against anyone who knowingly makes a false report.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED
Unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favor and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic decisions, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment or the assignment of better academic grades or favorable consideration for academic or social advancement. Sexual harassment may be of a homosexual or heterosexual nature and may consist of the following:
- sexually suggestive language;
- derogatory sexual comments;
- unsolicited touching of the body;
- outright solicitation of sexual intercourse;
- subtle pressure for sexual favors or social encounters;
- demands for sexual favors or social activity accompanied by threats or insinuations that failure to submit will adversely affect one’s employment, wages, work conditions or academic advancement;
- demands for sexual favors or social activity accompanied implied or direct promises that submission will result in better job treatment or academic advancement; and
8. patting or pinching.
REPORTING INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
A student who believes he or she has experienced sexual harassment shall immediately report the allegation to the vice president for Student Affairs or the Department of Police and Campus Security. A formal investigation of the matter will begin when a written compliant is filed. If charges of sexual harassment are formally filed against any officer of the University who serves at or above the level of an area vice president or the director of intercollegiate athletics, the EEO officer shall within 10 days report that fact and the results of any preliminary investigation to both the president and the chairman of the board of trustees.
INVESTIGATING REPORTED INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Prior to initiating an investigation, the director of Personnel Services and Human Relations will notify the accused person(s) of the sexual harassment charge and of the impending investigation. The investigation will be nonadversarial. Therefore, attorneys for neither side will be permitted. The investigation committee will be composed of three disinterested members. Two members will be appointed by either of two divisional vice presidents. The third member will be selected by the two members appointed by the vice presidents. If the two cannot agree on naming a third member, the director of Personnel and Human Relations will name the third member. If the sexual harassment charge involves a student, at least one member of the committee will be a student appointed by the vice president for Student Affairs. All correspondence should be in writing that requires a signature or use of certified mail.
The committee will interview and obtain relevant testimony from any and all persons who may have knowledge of the matter within 30 days of notification. Upon completion of the investigation, the committee will compile its findings, formulate recommendations and forward its report through the director of Personnel Services and Human Relations to the vice president for Student Affairs.
UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ABSENCE EXCUSES
The University recognizes that students may be faced with circumstances warranting absence from attending class. Official excuses are issued by the University Counseling Center and are granted for the following reasons only:
- “verified” illness,
- death in immediate family, with proof (e.g., statement from funeral home, death certificate, obituary),
- University-authorized business,
- military duty,
- civic duty (i.e., time for voting or serving on jury duty, not court appearances for misconduct) and
- counselor-excused verification
Excuses will be processed in the University Counseling Center, Room 111 McGehee Hall, during the periods of 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. No official excuse will be issued from the University Counseling Center if the occurrence which gave rise to the absence from class occurred more than 10 class days from the request.
DRUG-FREE CAMPUS AND WORKPLACE POLICY
Alabama State University is committed to fostering a campus environment in which the effects of alcohol and drugs do not interfere with the academic development and work of students and institutional faculty and staff. Furthermore, the effects of drug and alcohol abuse pose a danger to the individual, students, faculty members and the public. Alabama State University acknowledges and complies with the laws of the state of Alabama which prohibit the sale, distribution, manufacture, possession or use of a controlled substance in the state. Therefore, individuals are specifically prohibited from using, selling, distributing or, in any other way, involving themselves with controlled substances except as permitted in relevant legislation.
DRUG AWARENESS PROGRAM
The University has established a Drug Awareness Program administered through the University Counseling Center in cooperation with the University Health Services Center. The program includes the following activities:
- Alcohol/Drug Education: Through student workshops, information on drug abuse is provided, including drug effects, signs and symptoms of drug abuse, effect of drugs on personal performance, and the University’s Drug-Free School and Campus Policy
- Counseling and Referral: For students in need of counseling, in-patient treatment or other diagnostic services, a listing of alcohol/drug, self-help and in-patient services is available in the University Counseling Center.
- Print and Audio-Visual Materials: An array of brochures, pamphlets, monographs, research reports and audio visuals on Drug Awareness Programs for Alabama State University is available in the University Counseling Center.
Additionally, confidential assistance with substance abuse problems is available through several greater Montgomery area agencies. University counselors must confidentially refer for counseling any student who appears to be having difficulty with substance abuse.
SANCTIONS APPLICABLE TO STUDENTS
The University will enforce sanctions as it relates to illegal use, possession or distribution of controlled substances on its premises or at any of its activities. Specifically, depending upon the facts relating to any drug or alcohol conviction or use, students who violate the University’s drug-free policy may be required to participate in a drug abuse assistance program or may be subject to sanctions up to and including suspension for a specified period of time or expulsion.
POLICY DISSEMINATION AND EVALUATION
It is the policy of ASU to maintain a drug-free campus. In order to inform University students of this policy as well as the dangers of substance abuse, copies of the University’s policy are made available from the following offices: the University Counseling Center; University Health Center; the library; offices of the vice presidents; and the Student Government Association. At the time of registration, copies of the policy will also be available.
The Office of Student Affairs will evaluate and review various measures to better understand the effectiveness of the University’s Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Policy. These measures include the following:
1. Trends of drug and alcohol arrests by the Police and Security Department:
- The number of disciplinary actions issued to students related to controlled substance abuse.
- The number of students referred or required to participate in classes and counseling sessions.
- The number of reported violations of housing regulations.
- The amount of vandalism in the residence halls associated with drug and alcohol abuse.
- The number of incidents of violence influenced by alcohol and drug abuse
ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY CODE OF CONDUCT
ALL ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY (ASU) STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO CONFORM TO RECOGNIZED UNIVERSITY STANDARDS OF CONDUCT, BEHAVE WITH DECENCY, AND DRESS APPROPRIATELY WHILE ATTENDING ON AND OFF CAMPUS FUNCTIONS AND IN ACADEMIC SETTINGS, SOCIAL EVENTS, EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITES AND OTHER PUBLIC FUNCTIONS.
(Approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2006)
- NO STUDENT WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER ANY UNIVERSITY BUILDING WITH THEIR PANTS HANGING BELOW THE WAIST, WITHOUT A BELT, WEARING SPAGHETTI STRAPS, OR WITH HATS AND/OR “DOO” RAGS ON THEIR HEADS; AND
- NO STUDENT WILL BE ALLOWED IN ANY UNIVERSITY BUILDING WITH PAJAMAS ON, EXCEPT IN THE RESIDENCE HALLS AND EXCLUDING THE LOBBY AREAS; AND
- STUDENTS ARE TO REFRAIN FROM USING PROFANITY IN ANY UNIVERSITY BUILDING OR ON CAMPUS.
REVISED AND APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY THE 9TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2007
ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY
NO CAR POLICY FOR FRESHMEN
WHEREAS, after careful analyses and research, the Uni- versity has concluded that no freshmen students living in the Resi- dence Halls will be allowed to bring cars to campus, and WHEREAS, the University will make exceptions for those students who have off-campus jobs, and
WHEREAS, this policy will enhance the University’s ability to retain and create a learning environment for freshman students that will assist in improving their academic and social growth, and assist with increasing the retention rate THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That this policy is recom- mended by the Student Affairs Committee and approved and sup- ported by the Administrative Council that no freshmen will be al- lowed to bring cars their freshman year until they have earned 32 semester hours beginning Fall 2008.
RESOLVED AND APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF TRUST- EES OF ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY THIS 8TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2008